First Impression: Arrow-kitted 2011 Triumph Speed Triple

Around the hills of Spain and the corners of Ascari, Forsyth gives his second impression of the Triumph Speed Triple and the souped up Arrow kitted version

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Well that's it, we've finished our riding stint and are now sat on the sweaty death coach from hell that's taking us back to our hotel.

Managed to ride the Arrow kitted Speed Triple in the last session and what a difference that makes to the whole thing. There's anther 3bhp unleashed but it's the weight reduction that you really notice. The underslung single Arrow pipe replaces the hefty twin underseat pipes and you really can notice the difference, particularly through high speed direction changes.

But it's the noise that really makes you think you're lapping faster. There's a really deep, bassy howl under load and a crackling and popping on the over run that just adds to the fun. Don't know how many dollars the Arrow pipe is yet but it's got to be the best accessory on the Speed Triple's options list.

After our time on the track we went for a forty minute blast up into the mountains. I don't think I'd have tackled that road any quicker or any safer on a 1000cc supersport bike. The Speed Triple's suspension worked really well over the battered surface and the wide bars were superb for counter steering through left,right, left combos. The sit-up-and-beg riding position makes getting a really good view ahead (and behind) easier, too.

But, like on the track, it's the torque that makes it so easy to ride quickly and smoothly.

I only have one niggle after the track riding. The gearbox is not Suzuki-slick. There were a couple of times it seemed really reluctant to back shift sweetly. As most of the bikes only had six hundred miles on them maybe this was newness? Time will tell, I guess.

The other thing that I noticed after our road ride is the seat. It may be lower, it may be narrower but there ain't a  lot of seat padding and what there is of it is very soft. I guess the Speed Triple isn't most people's first choice for long distance touring.

But that's nit picking. Triumph have done a superb job injecting new life into their big naked. It's got more soul than any of the Japanese offerings, more sophistication than anything from Italy which means only one thing. The Speed Triple - like it's little brother the Street Triple - is best in class.

Be proud to be British. (for a change)